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Bow Chicka Bow Wow
by Stefi Sparer
Yesterday, I had to be photographed for a local college publication because my journalist friend Brooke, who apparently ran low on people to interview, needed me for a story about being busy.
"Look," I told her when she first called, "I don't care what you quote, as long as I don't sound like an idiot."
"Deal," she tells me.
I can speak frankly to Brooke because I've known her for forever. What started as a hate/hate relationship for both parties Freshman year of high school turned into a friendship by the time we were Juniors. And by senior year, we spent hours upon hours working on our school newspaper together and wondering if we'd ever get to have sex with our Journalism teacher.
"Wait, you too?" I asked Brooke at the Mexican restaurant we were having lunch at about a year after we both graduated high school. "I thought it was just me?"
Brooke blushes, something that doesn't happen often, "I- erm, yeah, by the end of Senior year I was... it was bad."
I nod to show I understand, "Yeah... I really thought I was going to sleep with him," I say wistfully.
"Me too! I totally thought that the later we stayed-"
"The more apt it was to happen?" I question and remember all of the times Brooke and I stayed with our Journalism teacher long after the school day ended 'just to make sure the paper was perfect'. And here I thought she just loved the craft.
"Oh, totally! I think I lived in my own personal porno flick the last semester of high school," Brooke sighs.
"I just wished I did," I reply.
Brooke frowns and extends her hand across the table to my shoulder, "One day you'll have a boyfriend so that you can fantasize about having sex with the people you actually want to have sex with," she says, "I swear."
"I have to have this kid Brett come photograph you for the story," Brooke says when we're finished with the interview, "Is Friday good for you?"
I perk up a little. Yeah, I think to myself, I'd date a photographer. "Friday's just fine. Friday," I say, "Is perfect."
When Brett calls, he has a raspy sexy voice, like a smoker's, I think, until he tells me he would never smoke. A non-smoker! I am thrilled.
"Do you smoke?" Brett asks me over the phone.
"G0d, no!" I say, "Smoking is so gross... why?"
"Your voice," he tells me, "I just wondered. It's Scarlet Johannson-y."
I nearly die. I sound like a Kewpie doll. Sarah Vowell, I've gotten her before. Alyson Hannigan. But not Scarlet. I giggle like a maniac, "Thanks. Do you smoke?"
"Fuck no," he tells me, "Never have. Never will."
It is love. As long as he's cute.
We meet up at a shopping center for people in Arizona who want to be seen with their Coach shopping bags. I keep praying that he's a good looking photographer. He tells me he's wearing sunglasses, a dark grey t-shirt, and a giant camera, "It shouldn't be that hard to spot me," he laughs. He's right and I spot him from the back and hold my breath until he turns around. It happens in slow motion like a movie. He sees me and smiles. He's gorgeous. I could practically jump for joy I am so happy, I am almost skipping over to him.
"Hi!" I say a little too perky. He's taken aback.
"Hi!" he laughs, "So, let's get this done."
I try to be easy for Brett, doing whatever he wants me to do for the photo. I am surreptitiously hoping that he will subconsciously realize that if I am easy going and follow directions and do whatever he says to in the photo session, I will be easy to get into bed and do whatever he wants in it. Except anal.
"So you're a Sophomore?" he asks me as I try to look as sexy as I can while pretending to be reading in a yellow polo, jeans, and a pair of converse.
"Oh," he smirks and switches to a wide angle lens, "I'm an old man."
He snaps another picture and holds his camera out to me so I can see the LCD screen, "I took um, about four years off from school before going to college. You like this one?"
I strain my neck to see the photo. It's OK, but not any fault of his, my hair just looks bad, "Yeah, its cute," I say.
"I graduated a couple years ago," he tells me.
I fluff up my hair between takes, "What did you do for four years?"
"I traveled. Got married. Odd jobs," he takes out another flash from his camera bag as if he didn't just tell me he got married and it wasn't a big deal. It's then that I notice a gold ring on his finger. You're kidding me.
He takes a few more photos and shows me the one he likes the best. "I think this one," he clicks to a photo of my hair looking OK and my face registering the shock of hearing he was a married man. "Your face looks natural."
"Yeah," I smile, "That's usually how I look."